All broadband access companies are grouped under Title II of the communication Act. Section 222 of the Act provide the user’s legal privilege when to use user’s broadband communication. Under this act, the ISPs were also responsible for user’s internet privacy. They were given the core duty of protecting their data.
The USA Privacy law:
In 2017, the US Senate collectively voted to wipe out the broadband privacy rules which prohibits the American ISPs either from sharing or selling user’s personal information and browsing history to third parties and advertising partners without user’s knowledge.
The new law is severely violating internet privacy. It is already revealed that more than 90% of the Americans feel that they have no control over their data and information when they use the internet.
A survey conducted in 2014 and its results were completing shocking as far as internet privacy is concerned. The results reveal that 91% of Americans either agree or strongly agree to the fact that people lost control over how their information is gathered and used by other entities.
The 80% social media users said that they worry about the advertisers accessing the data which they shared on different social media forums while 64% were of the view that the government must do something more to control the advertisers.
At present, private and secure web browsing is the supreme desire of many people. Most of the people are becoming very much worried about their internet after the FCC has abolished the privacy rules.
These laws have given additional authorities to the ISPs which has made user’s privacy at significant risk.
Does this article mainly focus on how you can protect your internet privacy from ISP? There are quite different ways by which you can protect your internet privacy. Also, the article also emphasis on the need for protection and reasons why ISP tracks a user. Let’s find out more about it.
Why is it essential to protect internet privacy from ISP?
Well! It is essential to protect internet privacy from ISP because your ISP can see whatever activity you do and puts your privacy at high risk. It is crucial to note that whatever you do on the internet is not confined between you and the browser.
There is also someone else snooping on your activities, and it’s for sure your ISP. If you are not doing anything to protect your internet privacy, so it means you don’t have any issue with anyone who is interfering while you use the internet.
Moreover, if you don’t do anything against ISP spying, then you’ll see tons of advertisements. It feels annoying when advertisers track online behavior. Not protecting the internet from ISP means you will get into great trouble when you download torrents. Your ISP will throttle your bandwidth if you spend unlimited hours on downloading, gaming, and streaming.
Let’s suppose you will travel aboard, and there you use the internet by Wi-Fi networks rather than your data plan. So, again no protection against the ISPs means that the foreign ISPs might access your personal information. The international ISP will collect all of your data and information and will sell them to advertising partners or third parties.
In case you are living in a country where the administrative rule is extremely oppressive then your regular causal online activity can turn in to a dangerous one. In such a scenario your ISPs can get affected too.
Like the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes and Fourteen Eyes surveillance compel the ISPs to reveal users information whenever they ask. Thus, it is necessary to protect internet privacy from the ISPs.
How can you protect your internet privacy from the ISP?
The best possible way to protect your internet privacy is to encrypt your entire online traffic. By doing so, an ISP will be incapable of monitoring what you are doing although they will be able to see that you are using the encryption nothing else.
Use a Tor Browser:
Following discussed below are some of the ways by which a user can protect their internet privacy from the ISPs. Let’s have a look.
Tor is a famous anonymity network which effectively encrypts internet traffic. It rebounds and recoils internet traffic among several relays.
Using a Tor browser means that your activity is encrypted and is redirect across the network of Tor servers. It makes it much harder and challenging to get traced. Let’s suppose you are attempting to speak against your government oppressive and harsh censorship laws. If you frequently talk against your government, then you might face heavy penalty and imprisonment too.
However, by using Tor, the government might attempt to trace your activity, but your activity will seem to be linked by arbitrary servers all around the globe and your real system.
Use a VPN:
Although Tor is an excellent option for anonymity, it encrypts the traffic 100% is not guaranteed every time. For data encryption, you must consider a VPN.
You can use a VPN service for encrypting your online internet data. VPNs are famous for not only hiding the IP address but also encrypting online traffic. It effectively encrypts the traffic between the VPN server and the device, in such a way that nobody can identify or find out about your activities.
When you use a VPN, so it hides your original IP address and swaps it with the server’s address. Though your ISP exactly knows your ISP address, it assures that they cannot connect it with what you do online.
The VPN service provides an encrypted connection to your working network too. If you are a remote worker, then it allows you to work from home as safely and securely as you do in the office. Although the ISP won’t be able to view your browsing history, your colleagues can do that.
There are various companies which now provide VPN services for regular users too. Now individual users can also encrypt their online activities and can prevent ISP from tracking them. It is important to note that there are several VPN services available, but not all of them are reliable in terms of services. You must be extremely careful while choosing the best VPN for yourself. Even you can also try the VPNs which offer free trials. If you get satisfied with their services, so can continue using them otherwise can go with another option too.
Use a Proxy Service:
There are many proxy services which hide user’s IP address but like Tor doesn’t encrypt their online activities. There are programs like Proxify which allows anonymous browsing, while there are also others like Anonymouse which can get via the ISP’s website.
A proxy server acts as a gateway between the user and the proxy servers. If you want to access any site restricted in your area, then the proxy is the right choice to make because it is capable of unblocking specific web pages.
Previously in 2014, Verizon was caught red-handed while inserting cookie-like trackers into their user’s traffic data. It allows third parties and websites advertisement networks to create profiles without the prior knowledge of the users.
When it received massive criticism from the US senators and FCC make into action, it made optional for the users to do so or not. It means that users were given a choice to become a part of this disturbing privacy service or not.
Users are recommended to check their account settings and look if ISP allows them to reject any tracking. Generally, it is present under ads, marketing, and privacy settings. The ISPs will not provide this option when the privacy rules are wiped out. However, it is not a bad idea to check once.
Why ISP tracks the user?
Whatever a user does on the internet is viewed by the ISP. This puts the internet privacy of the users at high risk. Here are the reasons due to which your ISP tracks the user. The reasons are as follows:
In many countries, the ISPs are compelled by the government or by the law to tracks user’s data and personal information for a specific period. They also provide the government and other security organization to access the collected data when needed in any investigation.
Even though it is essential while solving many cases and preventing crimes, but by this, the journalist is also unable to maintain their anonymity.
Also, it is not necessary that the higher authorities or the people of surveillance agencies always act in a behaved manner. It is now a fact that ISPs tracks ordinary citizens for no good reason.
Selling user’s data:
The prime reason why ISPs tracks a user is they collect their personal information and later sell to the advertising partners. They make a massive amount of profit by doing so.
The advertising companies after obtaining user’s information often use complex algorithms and targeted advertising to survey user’s consumption and web browsing habits. By doing so, they find out about ways by which they can further market to the user.
Torrenting is not legal in every country. The rules vary from state to country. Countries which have strict copyright rules force the ISP to monitor their user connectivity, so they might not get involved in torrenting.
Let’s suppose if they caught you while torrenting, so first they might send you a warning letter. It is possible that if you continue doing it, then your ISP might provide your data to the concerned authorities. As a result, you might face severe penalties which can also lead to imprisonment.
ISPs track the user to enforce bandwidth throttling. They say they do so to provide better network service to their users, but in reality, there are various reasons for bandwidth throttling.
Most of the ISPs throttle user’s bandwidth so they can move to an upgraded data plan.
With the repulsion of privacy rules by the US Senate, internet privacy has become a severe and prime concern of many users. The ISPs can view whatever they do over the internet. Moreover, they can even sell their information to the third parties and to their advertising partners too. In a worse situation, your data might be provided to the government or the surveillance agencies in case of any investigation.
To avoid all such things you need to protect your internet privacy from the ISPs. To do so, all you need is to adopt any one of the way described above. Although all ways will ensure your internet privacy, VPNs are a perfect choice. If you want 100% internet privacy from the ISPs, then you must use a VPN of a reliable company.